Alternative Medicine and Children – Part 6 – Vaccination and Alternative Medicine

Alternative Medicine, Children's Health, Infectious Disease, Parenting
The anti-vaccination movement has no better friends than in the alternative medicine world. In the Massachusetts study mentioned in my last blog, less than one-third of the homeopaths recommended immunization, and almost 10 percent actively opposed immunization. In England, the most common reason given for not having children immunized is the recommendation parents receive from a homeopath. (more…)
Read More

Public health officials urged to hold national discussion on vaccine risks, benefits

Children's Health, Parenting
In an op-ed in the New York Times, Michael Willrich, an associate professor of history at Brandeis University, writes , “Despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, roughly one in five Americans believes that vaccines cause autism—a disturbing fact that will probably hold true even after the publication, in a British medical journal, of a report thoroughly debunking the 1998 paper that began the vaccine-autism scare.” (more…)
Read More

Autism and Childhood Vaccinations: The Myth is Finally Debunked

Children's Health, Parenting
In a number of previous blogs, I've discussed vaccine myths, in an attempt to bring you information about vaccines that is reliable, trustworthy, and medically accurate. I recently found this review of the myth that vaccines cause autism and wanted to share it with you. It's a discussion between Robert Dachs, MD, FAAFP (Ellis Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program, Schenectady, New York), Andrea Darby-Stewart, MD (Scottsdale Healthcare, Scottsdale, Arizona), and Mark Graber, MD, FACEP (University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa) and was published in the American Family Physician (2010 Sep 15;82(6):586-592). Are childhood vaccinations associated with subsequent development of autism? Bob: In 1998, a British gastroenterologist, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, published a report in the Lancet on eight children who developed symptoms of autism within one month of receiving the…
Read More

More Evidence That Vaccines Don’t Cause Autism

Children's Health, Parenting
Children exposed to high, low levels of thimerosal had similar odds for the disorder as children with no exposure to thimerosal, a new study has found. This should be absolutely no surprise for two reasons: (1) since thimerosal has been removed from virtually all vaccines, there has been an INCREASE (not a decrease) in autism, and (2) no study has found any evidence of an association between thimerosal and autism. Here are the details from this newest study from HealthDay News: Infants exposed to the highest levels of thimerosal, a mercury-laden preservative that used to be found in many vaccines, were no more likely to develop autism than infants exposed to only a little thimerosal, new research finds. The study offers more reassurance to parents who worry that vaccination raises their…
Read More

Misinformation About Vaccine Safety Puts Kids at Risk of Illness

Children's Health, Parenting
Vaccine Myth #1: Vaccines Cause Autism Misinformation About Vaccine Safety Puts Kids at Risk of IllnessAbout one-third of U.S. parents surveyed had delayed or refused early childhood immunizations. As I've told you in previous blogs, this is a decision that can potentially harm your child and his or her friends. Here's a report from HealthFinder that confirms my beliefs: Physicians report that children who don't receive recommended vaccine doses by the time they're 2 years old are at risk of developing a variety of diseases. But some anti-vaccine activists contend that the shots can cause side effects, including autism, although health officials say repeated studies have failed to uncover such a link. For this study, researchers analyzed the results of a 2008 national survey of parents and health-care providers and…
Read More

Though unproven, 1 in 4 parents believes vaccines cause autism

Children's Health, Parenting
The New York Times, in Vital Signs, reports that one in four parents "think some vaccines cause autism in healthy children, and nearly one in eight have refused at least one recommended vaccine," according to a study published online March 1 in the journal Pediatrics. The USA covered the story with this article: Most parents continue to follow the advice of their children's doctors, according to a study based on a survey of 1,552 parents. Extensive research has found no connection between autism and vaccines. "Nine out of 10 parents believe that vaccination is a good way to prevent diseases for their children," said lead author Dr. Gary Freed of the University of Michigan. "Luckily their concerns don't outweigh their decision to get vaccines so their children can be protected…
Read More

Survey Shows Parents Still Worry Unnecessarily About Vaccines

Children's Health, Parenting
Most parents believe vaccination is a good way to protect their children from potentially deadly diseases, but a study shows more than half still worry about the possibility of vaccine side effects. The study concludes: Although parents overwhelmingly share the belief that vaccines are a good way to protect their children from disease, these same parents express concerns regarding the potential adverse effects and especially seem to question the safety of newer vaccines. Although information is available to address many vaccine safety concerns, such information is not reaching many parents in an effective or convincing manner. Here's an article on the survey from WebMD: The study shows 88% of parents follow the child immunization schedule recommended by their doctor, but 54% are concerned about serious vaccine side effects. Researcher Gary…
Read More

Vaccine Myth #2: Vaccines Don’t Work

Children's Health
This is the second entry in a series from my book God’s Design for the Highly Healthy Child. Probably the best recent example of the positive impact of vaccines is the Hib vaccine, which prevents meningitis, ear infections, and other serious infections caused by the bacterium Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib). When the current Hib vaccine was introduced to this country in 1990, Hib was the most common cause of bacterial meningitis. For decades, Hib had caused approximately 15,000 cases of meningitis and 400 to 500 deaths every year. After the current Hib vaccine was introduced, the incidence of Hib meningitis declined to fewer than fifty cases per year—typical of all widely used vaccines. (more…)
Read More

Researchers say non-vaccinated children face dramatically increased whooping cough risk

Bioethics, Children's Health, Parenting
A new study reports, "Children who aren't vaccinated against whooping cough are 23 times more likely to develop the disease than children who get all of their shots on time." The study, "of 751 children enrolled in Kaiser Permanente of Colorado," revealed that "one in 20 children who skipped the vaccine developed whooping cough, compared with one in 500 vaccinated children.” More information: (more…)
Read More

More on the Risks of Not Vaccinating Your Children

Bioethics, Children's Health, Parenting
A past blog, that has been very popular, was on the topic of the Risks of Not Vaccinating Your Children (Friday, 6 February 2009). In response to that blog, Kelly wrote, "Hello, I was just wondering if you could answer a question for me. I run a day care out of my home. I was recently inquired about watching a girl who is 2 and has never been vaccinated or seen a doctor. I was wondering if this was any risk to myself or the other children in my day care? Thank you for your time." I thought you might be interested in my response to her. More Information: (more…)
Read More

Parents continue to have unwarranted fears and delusions about pediatric vaccines.

Alternative Medicine, Bioethics, Children's Health, General Health, Men's Health, Parenting, Woman's Health
Infants and children get a lot of shots (vaccinations) to prevent against many different potentially fatal diseases. For this reason, parents or caregivers sometimes ask us as healthcare professionals to space apart, separate, or even not give some vaccines. Parents are worried that their child cannot handle so many shots at the same time. This is one of many concerns that parents may have about vaccinations. This blog entry provides you and your friends the facts about vaccines, to help you make an informed and wise decision about what's best for your child. Please share this information with as many parents as you can. More Information: (more…)
Read More

ABCs of Childhood Vaccine Safety

Alternative Medicine, Bioethics, Children's Health, General Health, Parenting
My blog, “Radio Listeners ‘Angry as Hornets’ About Dr. Walt’s Comments on Childhood Vaccination”  raised howls of protest from blog constituents. Many of those who wrote comments simply do not understand how safe and effective vaccines are. They don't seem to understand how vaccines are tested and then how throughly they are followed once licensed. If you're interested in the truth about vaccine safety, and not the spin, read on. With this information you'll not only share my (and virtually the entire medical world's) about the safety of vaccines, but you'll be able to help others who have been, unfortunately, indoctrinated (and, in some cases, brainwashed) by the fringe and fanatical antivaccine crazies. Read More: (more…)
Read More

Risks of Not Vaccinating Your Children

Alternative Medicine, Children's Health, General Health, Parenting
From 1958 to 1962, over a half a million cases of measles are reported each year. 432 measles-related deaths occur on average each year. But in 1963, the measles vaccine was licensed. By 2000, only 81 cases of measles are reported in all of the U.S.! And, most of those in the children of parents who chose not to immunize their kids. In fact, it has just been announced that measles cases in England and Wales have risen by more than 70 percent in 2008 from the previous year, mostly because of unvaccinated children. More Information: (more…)
Read More

Radio Listeners ‘Angry as Hornets’ About Dr. Walt’s Comments on Childhood Vaccination

Alternative Medicine, Children's Health, General Health, Parenting
I was being interviewed about childhood vaccination on the KTIS radio station that broadcasts in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area. During the interview I stated, “In my opinion, parents who refuse to vaccinate their children are committing a form of child abuse.” According to the station, my comments “stirred up a hornet’s nest.” More Information: (more…)
Read More

Vaccine Myth #8: A Preservative Contained in Many Vaccines Harms Children

Children's Health, Parenting
In 1999, a study revealed that the preservative thimerosal, a mercury-containing compound present in many vaccines, caused several infants to have levels of mercury in their blood that exceeded guidelines recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Preservatives are used in vaccines to reduce the risk of contamination by bacteria once the vial is opened. Exposure to high levels of mercury, especially in the developing child before birth, is associated with neurological disturbances. Therefore, parents began to fear that thimerosal may cause neurological difficulties, like autism. When this study was first described, physicians, scientists, and public health officials quickly assessed the situation and found that: (more…)
Read More

Vaccine Myth #7: Vaccines Weaken the Immune System

Children's Health, Parenting
Natural infection with certain viruses can weaken the immune system. So when children are infected with one virus, they can’t fight off other viruses or bacteria as easily. This happens most notably during natural infection with chicken pox or measles. Children infected with chicken pox are susceptible to certain bacterial infections (MRSA or flesh-eating bacteria, for example). Children infected with measles are more susceptible to bacterial infections (resulting in sepsis) of the bloodstream. But vaccines are different. (more…)
Read More

Should Parents Refuse Abortion-Based Vaccines?

Bioethics, Children's Health, Parenting
There’s a news story out this week about a Coast Guard officer who was told that he must take a vaccine that was derived based on tissue from an unborn child that had been aborted.  The officer refused the vaccine based upon his religious beliefs that abortion is wrong. After a lawsuit was filed by the Alliance Defense Fund, the Coast Guard decided to allow a religious exemption. "Members of our military should never have to choose between honoring their country and honoring their faith," argued ADF attorneys in the case of Coast Guard officer Joseph Healy. I agree with my friend, Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, who said, "We applaud the military for recognizing that Healy is deserving of the same freedoms that he has spent…
Read More

Vaccine Myth #4: Vaccines Are Unsafe

Children's Health, Parenting
Despite what is often falsely reported in the media and at many scaremongering web sites, all recommended vaccines are extraordinarily safe. When you consider that the 3.5 to 4 million children born every year in the United States receive more than twenty different vaccines to protect them from at least eleven different preventable diseases by the time they are six years old, and that some of these vaccines have existed for more than fifty years, I think you’ll agree that the record of vaccine safety in this country is remarkable. (more…)
Read More